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Is This The Year That USA Beat Ghana?
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Sports Features of Thursday, 12 June 2014

Source: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Is This The Year That USA Beat Ghana?

I know this opinion article will not sit well with many readers. It does not sit well with me, and I feel like a traitor especially that I had such a fun time at the “Dinner with the Black Stars” yesterday at the Embassy in Washington DC, but we must check our wishes and hopes against reality and the numbers. I have done exactly that and it does not look good for us. I fear it could possibly end Africa’s experiment with African coaches. I am writing this article to prompt those who will be inclined to, to prepare themselves for the possibility that …...

Netherlands looked like they didn’t have to work very hard to beat Ghana. They indeed had many chances to score easy goals and missed. We looked bad. We beat South Korea, but we didn’t play much of a great game to win. Our “A” game was not there. I don’t know if we will find it for Tuesday’s game even though we absolutely need it.

Here are the numbers. In 2006 when we beat the USA, we ranked 28 and the USA ranked 31. In 2010, we ranked 16 and the USA ranked 18. This year, Ghana ranks 37 on this month’s ranking and the USA ranks 13. Netherlands ranks 15 and they beat us. South Korea ranks 57 and we beat them. Considering America’s need for revenge and their need to prove “something”, and the seeming loss of our “mojo” things don’t look good for us.

We are Ghana. We can pull it off, but even if we beat the USA, which I pray we do, we still have Germany and Portugal to worry about. As it is, there aren’t too many people who think the odds favor us against these two teams. Our recent performances along with FIFA’s rankings don’t seem to portray a team that our players talk about. Can we even get out of the group stage, and can we really improve upon our 2010 performance when we have a worse ranking than we did then? Does this question leave doubt in anyone’s mind beside mine?

The sight at yesterday’s “Dinner with the Black Stars”, does not help matters for me. Coach Appiah looked tired when he walked in. All the players looked tired. There didn’t seem to be any enthusiasm. I will grant that they had just arrived from Miami, but yesterday was a downer. Looking back, I think the dinner was probably not the greatest idea. Maybe we are demanding too much from the players before the game starts.

My love for my country and my pride for the young men who have made me so proud put my hopes above my fears, but the fear is there and I pray: God’s speed, Black Stars.



Tony Pobee-Mensah
tpmensahr@yahoo.com
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